Posts Tagged With: new life

Revealing Character Through Communication

Some great points about thinking about how our words will be perceived, before we speak. I like Stephanie’s last paragraph were she gives some tips on how to be assertive and let other people know when they are being rude.

Revealing Character Through Communication.

Categories: Life, Perspectives, The Self Employment Chronicles | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

The Fine Line, part 4, by guest essayist Amy Fernaays

Besides his family, the reservists’ has the added worry concerning his job. In our economic climate today, it is very possible that his job could be phased out or the company could close. Many National Guardsmen work for fire departments, police, and in hospital; which can cause a hardship for a small community when a unit is called up. (Jim Garmone 2004)
“’Large corporations have the depth to absorb a year-long loss of personnel,’ Said a state Guard official. ‘Smaller companies do not.’ Some companies have continued the Guardsmen’s medical coverage. Still others have made up the difference between the Guardsmen’s civilian pay and their military salaries.” states Garmone.
Some reservists’ take a pay cut when they are activated because their civilian salary is not connected to their military pay. The soldier must be prepared for the loss of certain income, benefits, retirement contributions and other investments.
Even though reservists are worried about their jobs, and benefits the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) does try to protect reservists. Judy Greenwald reports, “’Typically, the employer must reinstate within two weeks of the application for re-employment,’ Ms. Farmer said. ‘If there’s been several years of active duty the regulations recognize that it may take a little bit more time because you have to open up a position, which can mean laying off another employee or transferring someone else.’”
Judy Greenwald discloses, “Thousands of veterans could return to the workforce given President Barack Obama’s commitment to withdraw 23,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of the summer and his plan to turn security entirely over to the Afghan government by 2014.”
This could spell trouble for businesses because some issues have already surfaced. One of those problems is that the USERRA is ambiguous in its wording. As troops begin returning home; reservists wishing to return to their civilian jobs are faced with employers unprepared to re-instate them. (Greenwald 2012)
Judy Greenwald asserts, “’Employers have to pay close attention to deadlines regarding how soon they have to bring the veterans back, which depends on factors including the length of time the service member was deployed and whether he or she was injured,’ said Shannon D. Farmer, a partner with law firm Ballard Spahr L.L. P. in Philadelphia.
It may seem that this act favors veteran’s and be a hardship for businesses, but this act doesn’t help veteran’s if there job has been completely phased out due to the recession or if the company has shut down. For a reservists income is only obtained through employment. Once they are out-processed from their active duty tour their income, and benefits come from a civilian job. This puts a large amount of stress on a returning soldier to become re-employed as quickly as possible. Knowing that you will have to fight for your job after spending a year fighting for your country is a hard pill to swallow for most reservists.

Categories: Current Events, History, Life, News, Perspectives, Uncategorized | Tags: , | Leave a comment

The Fine Line, Part 1, by Guest Essayist Amy Fernaays

This is a nine-page essay written by one of my friends from college. I’m going to break it up over several posts. Her essay is about the problem of men and women serving in the armed forces and coming home to find that there are no jobs for them.

“Inside the Churchville Veterinary Hospital, veterinarian Rick Parsons is busy performing cancer surgery on a 5 year old German shepherd.

It’s a bitter winter afternoon, and Parsons’ friend and accountant, Dave Young, has stopped by to go over some financial records. Stepping outside the operating room, Parsons asks his friend if he would like to watch. Glancing at the bloodstained operating table, Young politely declines.

But Young says he’s happy to see his buddy again wielding a surgeon’s knife. Parsons is just glad to see Young back handling the practice’s books.

Both Young and Parsons are part-time soldiers, majors in the Army Reserve whose recent tours of active duty in Afghanistan wrenched them from their lives in western New York for a year each, nearly destroying Parson’s veterinary practice and putting strains on Young’s tiny accounting firm.

When Parsons came home after a yearlong call-up to Afghanistan in August 2003, he was within a month of having to file bankruptcy papers. He’d been unable to find another doctor to fill in during his absence. Meanwhile, Young spent most of 2002 in Afghanistan, forcing his wife to go to work with his father to keep clients from abandoning Young and Co., the small firm he had started five years earlier.

The lives of these two officers and a half dozen of their Army Reserve comrades in Rochester offer a window into the growing strains that many warn are threatening to break America’s part-time military,” explains Dave Moniz.

Flash forward ten years and the stories are even more bleak than anticipated. An economic recession sent our economy into a downward spiral. Businesses closed, jobs were outsourced, or eliminated completely. The job market is small and the competition is high. Not only are reservists returning to civilian life, but are now in a new battle. The new battle is for the jobs they left behind.

To be continued…..

Works cited

“Back From War, Still In a Fight.” Albany Times Union [Alban, NY] 19 Nov. 2009: C1. New York State
Newpapers. Web. 15 Nov. 2012.
“Enlist, Reenlist, Benefits |” Enlist, Reenlist, Benefits | N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2012.

Garamone, Jim. “Deploying Unit Shows Differences Between Active, Reserve.” News
Article: Deploying Unit Shows Differences Between Active, Reserve. U.S. Department of Defense,
14 Feb. 2004. Web. 28 Nov. 2012. <;.

Greenwald, Judy. “Guidelines Welcomed on Reservists’ benefits; Regulations expected to help as
troops return.” Business Insurance 27 Dec. 2004: 1. General OneFile. Web. 19 Nov. 2012.

Greenwald, Judy. “Soldiers Return to Civilian Jobs; Veteran’s Rights Put Compliance on us Former
Employees.” Business Insurance 18 June 2012: 0001. General OneFile. Web. 19 Nov. 2012.
Geisel, Jerry. “Law Outlines Employers’ Duty; Call-up of U.S. Reservists Triggers Benefit Obligations.”
Business Insurance 24 Sept. 2001: 26. General OneFile. Web. 19 Nov. 2012.
Lenckus, Dave. “Easing Return to Civilian Life a Must; Employers urged at PRIMA to Consider
Veterans’ Special Needs.” Business Insurance 25 June 2007: 4. General OneFile. Web. 19 Nov.
Greencard, Samuel. “When Johnny or Janey Comes Marching Home.” Workforce Management 90.6
(2011): 4-4. Academic Search Complete. Web 19 Nov. 2012.;
Moniz, Dave. ” Guardsmen, Reservists Hit Hard at Home by Call-ups.” – Guardsmen,
Reservists Hit Hard at Home by Call-ups. n.p., 07 Feb. 2005. Web. 10 Dec. 2012.
Tillson, John C.F. “Landpower and the reserve components.” Joint Force Quarterly Dec.2004:41+. General
OneFile. Web 5 Dec. 2012
Zoroya, Gregg. “Army to Expand Citizen Soldiers’ Traning Periods.” USATODAY.COM. N.p., 30 July 2012. Web.
10 Dec. 2012.

Categories: College Life, Current Events, Life, Perspectives | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s Not All About Me

          Recently, I was reviewing my English 101 textbook when I came across an essay titled “On Keeping a Journal” By Roy Hoffman. According to the headnote, Hoffman wrote this piece for Newsweek on Campus. As I read his essay, I was inspired to write my own; from the perspective of a middle-aged woman attending college for the first time, and about how I feel intimidated and fearful. I feel this way because in two of my classes, my classmates were children–to my eyes–on average, they are only four to six years older than my daughter is.

     It makes me feel old; at a time when they were entering kindergarten or first grade, I was already a mother. When my daughter was born, I was nineteen–only a year or two younger than some of them are now.

     It presented a gulf, in my mind, that cannot be crossed. I have nothing in common with them, except that we happen to be in college, in the same class at the same time. Ironically, when I was their age, I felt the same way that I do now.

     When I was nineteen, whenever I was in a group of people my own age, I thought:

     ‘I don’t belong here; I have nothing in common with them.’

     I thought this way, because I was raising a daughter, working, paying bills, and trying to survive. I worked, but the jobs I was qualified for—Burger King and Wal-Mart—are not the types of jobs that dreams are built on. Nevertheless, this was my life; I worked to pay the bills. The hours I was given were always just under full time; but I knew better than to complain.

     My paycheck paid the rent, put food on the table, and paid the babysitter. A car was an impossible dream. My transportation was a bicycle, which I bought from the same Wal-Mart where I worked.

     My paycheck was not always enough to put food on the table, so I used food stamps, sometimes. I hated that, but sometimes you have to do what you hate, in order to survive. Sometimes my paycheck was not enough to pay the babysitter. In those times, my daughter’s father was the babysitter.

     Unless he refused, and many times he did. Then, I was stuck.

     No babysitter meant I could not go to work. Not going to work meant I would no longer have a job. Not having a job meant I could not pay the rent. Then we would be homeless. On and on it went. This scenario played out many times, until my daughter became a teenager; she decided she would rather live with her dad, and that was that.

     I had devoted my whole life to her, and now I was left wondering “Now what?”

     I was thirty-two years old by then—and married—but that is another story. My question of now what was answered by Finger Lakes Community College. As I write this, I am thinking, maybe I do belong in this group of young people, because I have already been where they are going. Perhaps I can be another mentor to them–an equal–different from their professors. I did not see it that way before. In trying to get through college, I developed tunnel vision. That happens so often in life. So now, I am wondering: ‘How can I use what I have learned from life to help them?’ I do not yet know the answer to that question.

Additional reading, if you are interested:,2118015

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Research, Research, and more Research…

I have been thinking about working as a virtual assistant since before I started college. I have researched it, a lot, online, and in books. I have found a lot of useful information, and now, (drum roll) I’m ready to take the plunge. However, this does not mean I am giving up on my traditional job search, because I think it would be dumb to do that, as this process could take, never mind could, it probably will take a long time. At first, I planned to file a DBA as a sole proprietor, but now, after what I have read recently, that I might be better off incorporating as an LLC. Today, I printed out a ream of forms from SCORE, and the county website. Monroe county that is, because I am planning to move to Rochester. Hubby and I have been talking it over, both the move and the business, and he thinks both are good ideas. Which I‘m glad for. Makes it a lot easier than if he didn’t.

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